ANN ARBOR, Mich. Dating during the teen years takes a violent turn for nearly 1 in 6 young people, a new study finds, with both genders reporting acts like punching, pulling hair, shoving, and throwing things.
The startling number, drawn from a University of Michigan Medical School survey of more than 4,000 adolescent patients ages 14 to 20 seeking emergency care, indicates that dating violence is common and affects both genders.
Probing deeper, the study finds that those with depression, or a history of using drugs or alcohol, have a higher likelihood to act as the aggressor or victim.
The findings, from the largest-ever study of the issue in a health care setting, suggests a need for health care providers to ask both young women and men about whether their relationships have ever turned violent, and to guide them to resources. The results are published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"It's important to think about both genders when trying to identify teen dating violence, especially when there are other conditions we may be trying to assess in the health care setting," says Vijay Singh, M.D., MPH, MS, the study's lead author and a U-M clinical lecturer in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine.
"These data remind us that teen relationships are not immune to violence and should encourage providers to ask adolescent patients about this important issues," he adds. "In addition, this could help us understand whom to target for screening and referral to, or development of, programs that could help them."
Relationships in adolescence set up patterns for adult relationships, he notes. Intervening with adolescents experiencing dating violence is crucial to prevent adult intimate partner violence.
Singh and his colleagues at the U-M Injury Center analyzed data from a larger survey of teens and young adults aged 14 to 20 years who visited the U-M Health System's
|Contact: Kara Gavin|
University of Michigan Health System